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So I know I'm asking for a lot, but I could use a step by step instruction here.
Currently I have a computer running win 8, though it was an upgrade copy so it's base is still win 7. What I'm looking to do is run a triple boot with a partition running mint 17, one with win 7 and one with win 8. However, I don't even know where to start here. The main thing I'm running in to is that the suggestions are to start with the windows 7 OS installed, then create a partition with win 8, then one with mint. I'm fine with that idea if I have to, as I don't really have anything to lose, but I want some help here.
First of all, should I completely format my HDD then reinstall using my win 7 disk? If that's the case, the disk I have is one that is a reinstallation dvd, and it says it will only work with win 7 already installed on my pc, so would I have to instead pop in the disk and use it to format and reinstall instead of just formatting and then popping it in to install the system?
Secondly, after I do that, what are my next steps? I don't want to end up bricking my HDD by doing something wrong.
Third, If that isn't what I should do, can you please outline the process for me? I haven't had much experience with dual or triple booting, so I'd like to make sure I do everything correctly.
I'm really hoping to do this, since I love win 7, love win 8, and want to start learning to mess around with a linux based system.
Thanks ahead of time for any help you can give me,
"since I love win 7, love win 8, and want to start learning to mess around with a linux based system."
What I suggest you do is learn by using a free virtual machine. You'd be easily and safely able to run a linux or two at the same time as windows. What you want is not what I'd suggest for a newbie unless you have nothing but time and don't care about reloading.
Virtual machine is a good idea... Keep in mind your virtual hardware settings.
I created two VMs on my desktop, each with 2 GiB of ram... And sometimes the second errors out when trying to start it with first one running. It has to do with the fact I have 6 GiB of ram on it and it occasionally has over 1.6 GiB usage. If there isn't at least 400-500 MiB more ram than required before starting the second VM, it won't start. Once it starts, my usage can climb as high as I want without issue. Seems to only check physical ram and not any swap space/file.
A quick solution is to change the settings and lower the VM "hardware." I would put more ram, but apparently triple channel is too far out of fashion (can't find any matching ram from Amazon or Newegg).